What are the Symptoms of Heat Stroke?

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  • Written By: Garry Crystal
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 13 October 2019
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Heat stroke is a very serious condition that can cause severe dehydration and blackouts. This condition is caused when the body’s temperature rises too high, usually due to excessive heat. The body will lose vital fluids and minerals, usually through excessive sweating. Heat stroke can also be a serious side effect of extreme vomiting, fever or diarrhea.

The symptoms of heat stroke are wide ranging. They include headaches, fatigue and dizziness to begin with. Other symptoms are muscle cramps, high body heat, rapid breathing and a rapid pulse. The heat stroke sufferer may also become severely disorientated and suffer from seizures. One very serious sign is a loss of consciousness.

In addition to excessive heat, there may be some underlying reasons as to why a person is suffering from heat stroke. One of the main causes of heat stroke is dehydration; drinking alcohol while sunbathing can cause heat stroke. Alcohol dehydrates the body, and mixed with the heat, it is not a good combination.

Overweight people are also thought to be more susceptible to the symptoms of heat stroke. Overweight people tend to sweat more in excessive heat. This quickly dehydrates the body and can bring about heat stroke. People who suffer from undiagnosed overactive thyroid glands may also be more prone to this condition.


Heat exhaustion can also lead to the symptoms of heat stroke. When you have received a nasty sunburn or have been under some kind of physical exertion, heat stroke can occur. The earliest symptoms may not be noticeable because the condition can occur gradually as your temperature rises.

Although heat stroke can happen to anyone, some people need to take greater care than others. Older people, babies and young children are more susceptible. People who are physically active and people such as manual workers who work outside also have a higher risk of heat stroke.

If your temperature reaches over 103.1°F (39.5°C) and you are showing some of the symptoms of heat stroke, you may require medical attention. If your body temperature reaches 105.8°F (41°C), then this is seen as critical and you will need emergency medical treatment immediately. If you are suffering from milder symptoms, there are a few things you can do.

Move to a cooler area immediately and drink water. Do not take any medicine, and if possible, shower with cool water. Try to increase ventilation or cover your body with damp clothes in order to cool down. If the symptoms become more serious, a medical professional should be called immediately.


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Post 4

@Oceana – I don't know how anyone survives working on the road in the summer. I also don't understand how football players can stand to practice in August.

I have heard of several kids dying of heat stroke during football practice outdoors. No one really noticed the heat stroke symptoms, because everyone was really hot, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary until the kids passed out. By then, it was too late.

Post 3

The symptoms of heat stroke in dogs are a bit different than in humans. I had asked my vet about this, because I have noticed my dogs panting far too rapidly on hot days after they have been out playing.

She said that as long as I move them into the air-conditioned house when I notice the fast panting, they should be fine. I also offer them ice water when they have become overheated.

She told me that actual heat stroke would cause anxiety, restlessness, possible bleeding, pale gums, and vomiting. She also said that a dog can go into a coma and die from this. So, I am very careful and pay attention to their behavior in the summer.

Post 2

I can't understand how road workers avoid having heat strokes every day during the summer. Asphalt is hot when it is being laid, and it gets hotter as the sun beams down on it. Those poor workers have to stand on top of it in jeans, t-shirts, and hard hats!

I did hear of one road worker that my dad knew showing signs of a heat stroke last summer. He told someone that he didn't feel so good, and then he fainted. His coworkers noticed the lack of sweat on his body, and they knew he needed help fast.

Post 1

I drank some alcohol on the beach back in my college days, and I got very sick. I experienced symptoms of heat exhaustion, and heat stroke would have followed if my friend hadn't been sober enough to get me to a cool area.

First, I started feeling really hot. Then, extreme nausea hit me. I felt as though there were a rock in my stomach.

I got really week and started breathing way too fast. My friend put me in her air-conditioned vehicle and brought me bottled water. I sat in there until I felt normal, and I vowed never to drink alcohol outside in the heat again.

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